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The whole secret to our success is being able to con ourselves into believing that we're going to change the world because statistically we are unlikely to do it.
America is built around this premise that you can do it, and there are an awful lot of people who are unlikely to have done it who did.
My heroes and heroines are often unlikely people who are dragged into situations without meaning to become involved, or people with a past that has never quite left them. They are often isolated, introspective people, often confrontational or anarchic in some way, often damaged or secretly unhappy or incomplete.
Ever since the collapse of cap and trade legislation and the realization that President Obama is unlikely to ever utter the words 'climate change' in public again, much less use the bully pulpit to prepare the nation for the catastrophic risks of inaction, the movement has been in a funk.
We already have - thanks to technology, development, skills, the efficiency of our work - enough resources to satisfy all human needs. But we don't have enough resources, and we are unlikely ever to have, to satisfy human greed.
Both in Britain and America, huge publicity has been given to stem cells, particularly embryonic stem cells, and the potential they offer. Of course, the study of stem cells is one of the most exciting areas in biology, but I think it is unlikely that embryonic stem cells are likely to be useful in healthcare for a long time.
What is necessary is possible, what we want is expensive. What is unnecessary is unlikely.
Until 1869, when they were banned, debtors' prisons were the great incinerators of British reputations. Those who were unable to pay their bills were jailed until their creditors were paid - an unlikely event, given that the prisoner was unable to work.
I had come to the point when I realized it was unlikely that my film career was going to move beyond a certain level of role. And I was - because I had graphic instances of it - handicapped by the success of Star Trek. A director would say, 'I don't want Jean-Luc Picard in my movie' - and this was compounded by X-Men as well.
I'd be interested in finding out if there is a light you walk into, and if you do meet people from your life and walk hand in hand with Jesus. I would hate for my death to be tragic: I'd like to be old when it happens. But hopefully a young death is unlikely.
And what could be a hotter ticket than the improbable triumph of 'The Book of Mormon,' the musical-comedy moon shot of the season? Its creators, Matt Stone and Trey Parker, of Comedy Central's 'South Park,' are the most unlikely Rodgers and Hammerstein team ever to bowl a thundering strike.
It's unrealistic to expect the person you go to for sage advice also to be the person you go out and have a good time with. And it's unlikely that he or she will be the same person who's pushing you and motivating you to do more every day, like a coach or manager does.
If a product's future is unlikely to be remarkable - if you can't imagine a future in which people are once again fascinated by your product - it's time to realize that the game has changed. Instead of investing in a dying product, take profits and reinvest them in building something new.
An employee who's one of hundreds, rather than one of a few, is unlikely to feel personally responsible for helping the organization adapt and change.
At the highest stage of capitalism, the most necessary revolution appears as the most unlikely one.
Almost all paleontologists recognize that the discovery of a complete transition is in any case unlikely.
George Gaylord Simpson
Nuclear physics is interesting but it is unlikely to help society.
'Perfect' is about a set-up that looks perfect from the outside - beautiful country house, beautiful wife and mother, everything where it should be - and the deep fissures that, in fact, lie beneath that. 'Perfect' was partly a response to the shock of my first book, 'The Unlikely Pilgrimage Of Harold Fry,' being a success.
The story of Harold Fry and his unlikely pilgrimage began as an afternoon play for radio. For many years, I have been writing plays and adapting novels for 'Woman's Hour' and the 'Classic' series. So this was originally a three-hander play, broadcast one sunny afternoon on BBC Radio 4.
Yet, upon the whole, the space I traversed is unlikely to become the haunt of civilized man, or will only become so in isolated spots, as a chain of connection to a more fertile country; if such a country exist to the westward.
Be realistic and truthful - and tell Hong Kong businessmen honestly that they should go for long-term investments since it is unlikely money can be made in the short haul.
If all you're trying to do is essentially the same thing as your rivals, then it's unlikely that you'll be very successful.
The idea that somebody else is going to swoop down and play the fairy godmother role is pretty unlikely, so why not take care of yourself?
I recognized that information was, in many respects, like a public good, and it was this insight that made it clear to me that it was unlikely that the private market would provide efficient resource allocations whenever information was endogenous.
At one point I intended to write precursor and sequel novels, about the establishment of the Web and its next evolution, but I am very unlikely to now; they would take place in a different universe.
John M. Ford
Martin Luther King, Jr.
John F. Kennedy
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